Love (this) nest

23 Feb

I am finally going to see my three grandchildren face to face in May. It’s been a year since I’ve seen them – except on FaceTime. Like I always do when they visit, I plan Camp Nonnie which always includes crafts, cooking and games and more. Searching for ideas for the next camp “session” I came across several books by Vicki Lansky in my collection. Lansky was a best-selling author and publisher of cookbooks, parenting books, and household tips books; she passed away in 2017. Today I’m sharing her recipe for bird nest clusters from Vicki Lansky’s Kids Cooking (1987). They are an instant snack and one even little hands can master. Add marshmallow (eggs) or colorful jelly beans (think Easter). Vary the chips you use – try butterscotch and milk chocolate. And of course, if my grandchildren were making them, they would ask to add sprinkles!

Bird Nest Clusters

1 package (12 ounces or 1½ cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ cup peanut butter (“chunky” is better if you have a choice)

4 cups chow mein noodles (or a 6-ounce bag)

Colored candies or mini marshmallows (optional)

Put the chocolate chips and peanut butter into a large glass or microwave-proof bowl. Set the timer for 1 minute. Remove the mixture and stir. Place it back in the oven for 1½ minutes, or until chocolate chips are completely melted. Add the chow mein noodles. Mix the noodles by using one or two forks or spoons as though you were tossing a salad to get them evenly coated with the chocolate/peanut butter mixture. Lay a piece of waxed paper on two cookie sheets. Drop golf-ball size clusters on the covered cookie sheet to cool and set. Optional; add a few color candies or mini marshmallows as eggs to the nest. If you chill these in the refrigerator, it speeds up the hardening time so you can eat them sooner.

Note: keep them refrigerated as they can get slightly melty! And don’t kid yourself, you don’t need to be a kid to like these crunchy chocolate candies!

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